COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Schools

19 May 2020

Please note that this page contains information and guidance specific to Vermont schools and Supervisory Unions/Supervisory Districts (SU/SDs). Vermonters can find the most up-to-date and complete information on state and nationwide COVID-19 response, including information direct from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the Vermont Department of Health's COVID-19 website.

Guidance Index

School Closure Guidance    |   Special Education Guidance   |   Guidance for School Nutrition Program Operations   |   Childcare for Essential Persons Information   |   Financial Guidance   |   School Closure Guidance for Other Programs   | Guidance for Maintenance of Learning   |  Continuity of Learning   |   Guidance for Educator Licensure   |   Information for Families   |   Translated Materials   |   Cleaning and Disinfecting on School Grounds   |   Excused and Unexcused Absences 

School Closure Guidance

On March 26, 2020, Governor Scott directed school districts to make preparations for a transition to Continuity of Learning for the remainder of the school year. He further ordered the Agency of Education to continue its consultation with the Department of Health to advise as this response develops regarding school openings for some or all end of year activities.

Continuity of Learning (COL) means districts will be required to provide education services and related supports to all of their students remotely so that student learning and academic progress is achieved as if schools had remained open. Districts are required to make the transition to COL on or before Monday, April 13, 2020. Please consult Guidance on the Governor's Directive to Prepare for Transition to Continuity of Learning (3/27).

On the evening of March 24, 2020, Governor Scott issued Addendum 6 to his Executive Order which puts in place a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order and directs all non-essential businesses and non-profits to cease in-person operations. Please consult Guidance on Governor Scott’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order (3/25) for guidance for schools on student meals, childcare for essential persons and continuity of learning based on the Governor's order.

On March 15, 2020 Governor Scott issued a directive to all Vermont schools to conduct an orderly dismissal of all schools, and cancellation of all school related activities, no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Read the press release.

Memo: April Vacations and Regional School Calendars (4/6)

Memo: Continuation of Learning; School Calendars; Attendance (Issued 3/31; Updated 4/6)

Memo: Continuity of Mental Health Services (4/8)

Guidance: End of School Year Gatherings and Celebrations (Issued 5/8; Updated 5/15 and 5/18)

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Special Education Guidance

Memo: IDEA Requirements for Educational Placement and Amendments to IEPs in the Context of COVID-19 (3/27)

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Guidance for School Nutrition Operations

Refer to COVID-19 Guidance: Limiting Cafeterias to 250 People (3/15) for help complying with Executive Order 01-20.

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Child Care for Essential Persons Information

Requesting Child Care

Families with persons working in a field included on the Essential Persons List for COVID-19 Response (3/18) should complete this webform, which collects information to connect the families of essential workers with child care in schools and licensed child care programs that are operating to provide services now through April 6, 2020, while school dismissal and general child care service closures are in effect. Families can also call 2-1-1 ext. 6.

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Financial Guidance

Payment of Special Education Personnel and Contracted Services During School Closure due to COVID-19 (5/13)

CARES Act: Initial Guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education (4/17)

Agency of Education COVID-19-Related Financial Guidance (updated 4/10)

School Construction During a Novel Coronavirus Outbreak (4/20)

Education Medicaid

School-Based Health Services and Education Medicaid Telemedicine during Continuity of Learning Frequently Asked Questions (5/4)

Education Medicaid Billing Affected by Continuity of Learning FAQ (4/8)

Virtual Special Education Services Reimbursable through Medicaid Frequently Asked Questions (3/30)

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School Closure Guidance for Other Programs

21st Century Community Learning Centers

Adult Education and Literacy

Career and Technical Education

Driver Education


Homeless Children and Youth Program

Consolidated Federal Programs

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Guidance for Maintenance of Learning

Please note that these documents provide guidance for the period of school closure prior to April 13, 2020, as schools are preparing their Continuity of Learning plans and transitioning to remote learning. This guidance will be supplemented and, in some cases, superseded by guidance on Continuity of Learning.

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Continuity of Learning 

Please see the Continuity of Learning webpage for information, guidance and support for implementation of continuity of learning. 

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Guidance for Educator Licensure

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Information for Families

For information on Continuity of Learning please direct families to Continuity of Learning: Information for Parents.

As you communicate with your communities about COVID-19, please continue to consult the Vermont Department of Health for updated guidance. 

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Translated Materials

Translated materials are avaible on the Vermont Department of Health COVID-19 Resources Page.

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Cleaning and Disinfecting on School Grounds

The Vermont Department of Health is asking schools to follow general preventative guidance from the CDC to help keep COVID-19 from spreading: Stay home if you are sick, use and reinforce routine cough and handwashing hygiene measures.

In addition, using third-party certified cleaning products, frequently clean areas that experience high traffic for both students and staff. Disinfect areas and frequently touched surfaces such as bathrooms, nurse’s offices, cafeterias, drinking fountains and door handles. Make sure that school custodial staff are trained in the proper use and handling of disinfectants. School custodial staff should be the ones using disinfectants, not teachers or students.

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Excused and Unexcused Absences

In an executive order dated March 13, 2020, Governor Phil Scott ordered that "no school superintendent or school board shall cause a student or parent to be penalized for student absences that are the result of following medical advice or the guidance of VDH or arising from the concerns of parents or guardians relating to COVID19." Read the executive order.

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Contact Us

Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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Phone: (802) 828-1130 | Fax: (802) 828-6430
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